IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD

Ashley Herring Blake

In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity.

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In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls–and children’s literature at large.

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  • Little, Brown Young Readers
  • Paperback
  • March 2018
  • 320 Pages
  • 9780316515498

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$9.99

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About Ashley Herring Blake

Ashley Herring Blake lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two sons. She is the author of the young adult novel Suffer Love. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is her debut middle grade novel.

Author Website

Praise

“Blake captures all the exhilaration of a first crush without shying away from Ivy’s confusion….The sisters’ relationship is one of the great rewards of this novel that includes a large and vivid cast of secondary characters, who give the story its sense of abundant texture.”The New York Times Book Review

“This is an emotionally sensitive and elegantly written novel about loss and the first stirrings of love.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

” Ivy’s story is no mere niche-filler in LGBTQ middle-grade realism—it’s a standard-setter.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Discussion Questions

1. How does Ivy use her artistic talents to describe the world around her? How does art help her describe her physical world and her feelings?

2. Why does Ivy feel “more comforted” by Robin’s words than anyone else’s (page 95)? How does this comfort help Ivy connect to Robin?

3. When Ivy’s mom finds her drawing of her family, she praises it as “perfect” (page 120). However Ivy gets upset and doesn’t want her mother to hang up the drawing. Why does Ivy get upset? Why doesn’t she try to explain herself to her mom?

4. Ivy and her mother are both artists, but how else are they similar? Does their shared love of art put pressure on their relationship?

5. When Ivy and Taryn are “pondering mysteries” and Ivy classifies herself among the mysteries, she then cuts the conversation short. Do you think Taryn understood more than Ivy realized? Why do you think Taryn let Ivy move on and didn’t press her for more details?

6. How do Ivy’s relationships with everyone in her life change drastically over the course of the novel?

7. When Ivy finds out Taryn was the one leaving her notes, she is angry, but Taryn believes she was just trying to help. Why is Ivy’s anger justified? How is this situation similar to Ivy looking at June’s notebook? Why do they forgive each other in the end?

8. How is the storm its own character in the story? How does the storm act as a catalyst for change in each characters’ life?

9. The end of the novel flashes forward to a year after the storm. Why does the author do this? How does it further elaborate on the theme of resiliency? Why is it important to illustrate how the characters are continuously evolving?

10. After finishing the novel, go back and reread the epigraph, the same quote from Emily Dickinson that Ivy and June see in the library: “This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me…” What does this quote mean in the context of Ivy’s story, and how does it relate to her journey? Why do you think the author chose to include it before the story begins?